Diane Cromwell, who worked for three Maryland governors and had a lifelong love of politics.
Diane Cromwell, who worked for three Maryland governors and had a lifelong love of politics. (handout)

Diane D. Cromwell, a retired administrative assistant who maintained an interest in politics, died Oct. 23 from Parkinson’s disease at her daughter’s Glyndon home. The former longtime Sparks resident was 81.

The former Diane LaVern Dilweg, the daughter of U.S. Congressman LaVern Dilweg who earlier had been a Green Bay Packers end, and his wife, Eleanor Coleman, a 1924 Olympic swimmer, was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and raised in Washington.


When her father went to Washington, she developed a lifelong interest in politics and enjoyed working on numerous local campaigns.

After graduating in 1957 from Roosevelt High School, she studied for two years at the University of Maryland, College Park. She entered secretarial school and after graduating began a Capitol Hill career in 1963 when she was U.S. Senator Daniel B. Brewster from Maryland’s personal secretary for six years and then for two years after he left office in 1969.

During those years, she also enjoyed attending political functions with her father, who at that time was a member of the Foreign Claims Commission.

In 1968, she married Cameron Stirling Cromwell, who owned a company that built fences and constructed ponds. After the birth of their daughter in 1971 she went to Annapolis where she worked in the appointments office under three governors, Marvin Mandel, Acting Gov. Blair Lee III, and Harry R. Hughes.

She held subsequent administrative positions in Goucher College’s Associate Dean’s Office, the Baltimore Ronald McDonald House and for Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr.

Until retiring in 2000 Mrs. Cromwell was for several years hostess at the Thistle Tea Room in Sparks, which was owned by her daughter.

An inveterate traveler, Mrs. Cromwell maintained an interest in current affairs as well as national and Maryland politics.

Her husband died in 2009, and for the last eight years she has lived in Glyndon.

Mrs. Cromwell was a communicant of Immanuel Episcopal Church, 1509 Glencoe Road, Glencoe, where a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2.

She is survived by a daughter, Jennifer C. Fiorenza of Glyndon; two brothers, Robert Dilweg of Bethesda and Gary Dilweg of Madison, Wisconsin; a stepson, Gary Cromwell of Surrey, England; and five grandchildren.